Fashion designer Ralph Rucci to speak at Sam Fox School March 26

Ralph Rucci is among the most accomplished American fashion designers working today. His celebrated women’s-wear label, Chado Ralph Rucci, is known for thoroughly modern garments defined by sculptural silhouettes, innovative materials and precise construction.

Chado Ralph Rucci fall 2010 ready-to-wear collection. Photo: Marcio Madeira / High-res version available upon request.

At 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 26, Rucci will discuss his life and work for the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts’ Public Lecture Series. The talk is free and open to the public and will take place in Steinberg Hall Auditorium, located near the intersection of Skinker and Forsyth boulevards.

A 6 p.m. reception for Rucci will precede the lecture. For more information, call (314) 935-9300 or visit

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Rucci earned degrees from Temple University and from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York before presenting his first made-to-order collection in 1981. He launched his ready-to-wear label three years later and, in 1994, added the word “Chado” to his company name in tribute to the exacting Japanese tea ceremony.

Like the tea ceremony, Rucci’s work is at once subtle and intricate, evincing calmness and tranquility even as the designer constantly experiments with cut, proportion, construction and other variables. An accomplished painter, Rucci also designs his own prints, frequently drawing inspiration from artists such as Francis Bacon, Joseph Beuys, Cy Twombly, Antonio Tapies and Yves Dana, as well as from fashion houses such as Halston and Balenciaga.

In 2002, Rucci became the first American designer in more than 60 years to present a haute couture collection in Paris under his own name as part of the official calendar of the governing Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. He twice has been nominated Womenswear Designer of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America Designer. In 2008, he received the National Design Award in Fashion from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

Rucci’s work has been featured in three museum retrospectives: at The Costume Institute of the Kent State University Museum, The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology and The Phoenix Art Museum. His work also has been the subject of a documentary, Ralph Rucci: A Designer and His House, and a book, Ralph Rucci: The Art of Weightlessness, the latter of which will be available for purchase at the event.


WHO: Fashion designer Ralph Rucci

WHAT: Lecture

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 26; Reception at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Steinberg Hall Auditorium, intersection of Forsyth and Skinker boulevards

COST: Free and open to the public.

SPONSOR: Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts’ Public Lecture Series

INFORMATION:(314) 935-9300 or